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Creating episode titles for your podcast episode is one of the most important steps to ensure your episodes will will stand out and get listens as well as new subscribers for your podcast. With that in mind it is important to think twice when creating an episode title, because a simple description of what your podcast episode is about simply isn't enough to grab your audience’s attention. Headline Studio is here to help.

We’ve often covered episode title do’s and don’ts on our blog and SEO courses. But beyond avoiding basic SEO mistakes like starting your episode titles with numbers, for example, crafting a compelling episode titles becomes much harder.

But you can make the entire process of creating great episode titles much easier by using a tool called Headline Studio by CoSchedule.

What does Headline Studio do?

Headline studio gives you data-backed suggestions and a roadmap for improving headlines or episode titles you initially think of. It offers suggestions for effective words your title should include, and provides a headline score based on CoSchedules criteria on what makes a good title.

What are elements of a compelling episode title?

  • The right word and character length
  • Clarity about the episode content for the listener or reader
  • Click-worthiness through the use of uncommon, emotional or power words, which CoSchedule Headline Studio helps you find
  • Use of patterns where possible that have proven successful like listicles and how tos

My personal preference: “clarity” beats “being cute” every time. In other words, when I’m browsing through podcast episodes on my devices, I prefer short descriptive titles that make it clear what I’m about to listen to.

How do Headline Studio’s features help?

Headline studio also have the following features to make your experience in using the tool much more convenient.

Headline Studio's headline analysis

Word Balance Analyzer

Headline Studio shows you exactly how many common, uncommon, emotional and power words your title contains and shows you the best possible way to balance out the words your title should contain. Their recommendations are based on word usage and title patterns proven to be successful on social media.

Word Bank

Headline Studio provides you with their built in thesaurus to find words for each of their categories. Browse through their word bank and discover fitting words and their synonyms to create the ideal word balance.

Headline Score Breakdown

The tool also provides short breakdowns of what your title contains which includes :

  • Word Count – The amount of words your title contains and a bar to show you how many words are recommended.
  • Character count – The amount of characters your title contains. Also has the same bar as the wordcount breakdown.
  • Type – Shows you what type of title you have, its description and ways you could improve it.
  • Reading grade level – The difficulty of the words you used in your headline/title.
  • Sentiment – What sort of sentiment your title conveys.
  • Clarity – Checks if your title gets right to the point.
  • Skimmability – Shows you how skimmable your headline/title is and displays where the topic of your headline/title and where to place it.

SEO Score Breakdown

Headline Studio's SEO Score
Headl

Headline Studio also includes information on how your headline/title would fair SEO wise. It includes the following features :

  • Search Preview – Shows you exactly how your title would look like in search results.
  • Competition – A breakdown on where your headline/title stands among other headlines.
  • Your Top Competition in Search Results – Displays the top competitors in search results for your headline/title. This also might give you ideas on how to structure your own headline/title to give you a competitive edge.
  • Keyword Variations – Shows you keywords similar or related to your headline/title which you may include to rank higher in search results.
  • Related Questions – Displays related topics your audience also searches for which you may include to reach a wider audience and rank higher in search results.

How do you use it?

Headline Studio is simple and easy to use, go to their site, insert your headline/title and click analyze. It will then display the information which we listed above to help you craft a better title. We suggest trying at least 5-7 versions of an episode title you had in mind, it’s not just the tool, but the practice of creating these variations that makes you better at this.

Web App Version

To use the CoSchedule Headline Studio web app, just visit their website here.

Create a free account, and beyond the free version you will also get a trial for several premium features and headlines as well.

Headline Studio Home Page

Personally we use this tool and its older counterpart, Headline Analyzer, to improve the title of each piece of content we create, get a clear understanding what our titles are missing and to learn how to craft amazing titles.

Chrome Plugin

I should mention that if you are using a Chrome browser, there is also a useful extension available, you can find it here.

Final Thoughts On Improving Your Episode Titles

How I use the Coschedule Headline Analyzer

I can virtually guarantee that your episode titles will improve through a tool like this.

The reason I'm so confident is not just because it is a great tool: It’s the iterations that count

It is the practice and discipline of iterating — when you create 7 variations of a title, which Headline Studio practically makes you do, you’re bound to improve. It makes you think about your listener, your SEO, your episode topic in a new way. And the end result of choosing one of 5-7 variations will predictably create more interesting episode titles and gain you more listeners.

In conclusion, Headline Studio is a great tool for creating new titles and improving your old ones. It works for your blog and for your podcast episode titles. It provides you with a fair measure on how your title would do and provides you details steps on what to do to increase your own score, which certainly beats figuring out why your titles are not doing well through trial and error.

Disclosure: This article contains an affiliate link, and we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.

Your podcast episode title is likely something that will get shared on social media, and more importantly will show up in search results and on iTunes as well.

Given how much time you are putting into creating a podcast, it is worth spending a little extra effort on creating a good title that makes people want to click through and listen or read more.

Of course ,you should not write content or headlines for search engines, so keep it people friendly, avoid keyword stuffing and make sure the meaning of the content is not distorted by forcing a keyword or key-phrase into the content. But still, good podcast episode titles are a major part of promoting any podcast.

1.) Podcast Episode Title Do’s

  • Try to convey the essence of what the episode is about
  • Be sure to add a short description as well (see the gallery below on how this  impacts iTunes)
  • You can include the name of the guest and the episode number, but place this information at the end
  • If possible, try to include your SEO key-phrase in the episode title.
  • Include your SEO key-phrase in the post slug
The MFCEO Podcast Does Episode Titles Well

Example: Check out the MFCEO Project for some examples of "well done" episode titles

2.) Podcast Episode Title Don’ts

Check out the gallery below of Podcast Episode Title Don’ts

  • Do not put the name of the podcast first, this wastes space and is redundant.
  • Do not use the date and time as your episode title. (Sorry, Dave Ramsey)
  • Do not put the episode number first, if you’d like to include it, place it last. The reason for this is the way that episode titles display on iTunes, there are only about a 25 visible characters that display in the list of episodes, so putting episode numbers first wastes this space.
  • For interview shows, do not just use the guest’s name as the title, unless they are a celebrity. Listeners who don’t know the guest will not know what the episode is about.

3.) Use these resources for writing great episode titles and post headlines

Pro bloggers have known this secret for a long time: Catchy, fun, unique and click-worthy titles help drive traffic to their blogs. Spending time to think of good episode titles will help drive traffic to your show notes page, as well as increase your listenership. Suffering from episode title writers-block? Don’t worry, there are tools out there to help you, my favorites are:

4.) 5 More Not So Secret SEO Tips for Titles and Content

Tip #1: Creating H2 Tags (or sub-titles)

From an SEO perspective, Google (and other search engines) love well organized and hierarchical content. This means your show notes post should be organized. The title of the post should have the H1 tag, paragraph headers should have an H2 tag and short paragraphs should consist of text and bullet points. This approach has the additional benefit of increasing the readability of your content.

Tip #2: Focus on Readability

Unless you are writing long form essay content, short paragraphs are more appropriate for podcast show notes and accommodate “skimmer” type readers.

  • Try to avoid densely spaced content of paragraph after paragraph of text, this will be hard to read and is too information dense.
  • Breaking up your show notes into smaller segments is a good practice, also the use of images to break up the content is a good idea and will make your posts look and read better.
  • Add a sub-headline (H2 tag) for every paragraph

Tip #3: Do not use H1 tags anywhere in your show notes post

  • Each page should only have one single H1 tag
  • H1 tags are reserved for your post headline, and this tag is usually built into your theme
  • So in practice this means you should only use H2 and H3 tags within your show notes post
  • When you publish your post, the post title will automatically be displayed as an H1 tag on your page

Tip #4: Include your key phrase in at least one H2 tag sub-headline

  • Just as it was important to include your key-phrase in the H1 tag (or post title), it is also important to include the key-phrase in at least one H2 tag sub-headline

Tip #5: Watch The Concept of Keyword Density

While this is not relevant to headlines, you can and should use the key-phrase several times in the body of your post text. Keyword density refers to the number of times you have included your key-phrase in your post content, as a percentage of overall word count. If you are using the recommended WordPress SEO plugin, watch for the keyword density recommendations it provides, you can find these on the advanced tab.

Some keyword density tools

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